Imagine for a moment you’re a stagecoach driver steering his team across the Old Spanish Trail, a pioneer woman crossing the plains in a covered wagon, or a steam shovel operator digging ore in an iron mine. Rather than imagine, why not experience all of this at Cedar City’s own Frontier Homestead State Park museum, where interactive displays and exhibits bring the early history of Cedar City and Southern Utah to life.
You’re greeted at the museum entrance by a 250,000-pound steam shovel used in the early days of the iron mines. Climb into this behemoth, as well as the Union Pacific caboose next to the shovel, for the perfect picture taking opportunity. Inside the museum is a world of preserved stage coaches and wagons. Also, peruse the special art and history exhibits that change on a quarterly basis.
The back of the museum is the “Homestead,” with several preserved historic structures representing life of in early pioneer settlement. Here you can explore the Hunter House, Deseret School House, Sawmill, Blast Furnace, Sheep Shearing Shed and the Palisade. Each has a self-guided activity station for making rope, panning for gold, loading a wagon, and writing your name in the Deseret (Mormon) alphabet.
Iron Mission Days
Each November, Frontier Homestead celebrates the founding of Cedar City with the Iron Mission Days festival. Pioneer crafts and treats, special programs, and school presentations. Call (435) 586-9290 to check dates and times, or visit www.frontierhomestead.org.
During the summer season, Frontier Homestead State Park offers several hands-on activities including gold panning, U-Load It wagons, candle dipping, adobe brick-making and Deseret alphabet. Ask about these activities when you arrive at the park.
Old Iron Town
Old Iron Town, located about 25 miles west of Cedar City, tells the incredible story of Southern Utah’s historic mining industry. While visiting the park, one can tour the ruins of the iron works and a preserved beehive-shaped charcoal oven as well as stroll along the nature trail. A covered picnic area and restrooms are available.
Plan Your Trip
Frontier Homestead State Park Museum is located at 635 North Main in Cedar City (next to the Iron County Visitor Center). Take I-15 Exit 59, head east on 200 North to Main Street, then north for half a mile to the park.
The Museum is open all year.
September – May: Monday – Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
June – August: Monday – Sunday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Holiday closures: Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day
The fee to enter the park is $4.00 per person (6 years and up).
Group Services and Discounts
With advance notice, the museum staff can provide the following services for groups: pioneer living history demonstrations, hands-on activities, a guided historic tour of Cedar City, and special interpretive programs. Commercial groups also receive a 50% discount on the entrance fee and 10% discount in the museum gift shop with advance notice.